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Putting Men in Menopause: Thinking Inclusively in the Workplace

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What is Male Allyship Training

Male allyship training is a comprehensive educational initiative that aims to empower men to actively promote gender equality and combat issues such as sexism, misogyny, and gender-based discrimination. Through this program, men are equipped with the necessary knowledge and resources to become effective allies for women and marginalized genders. The training emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, empathy, and recognizing the distinct challenges faced by individuals with diverse gender identities. By fostering an atmosphere of respect and inclusivity, male allyship training strives to cultivate a fairer and more supportive society for all.

Menopause.  The common misconception is that this is a “woman problem”.

A topic that is personal and should be kept behind closed doors, definitely not one for businesses or men to worry about right? If you are only just joining us for this series of articles on “Menopause in the workplace, then the previous blogs should help to shed light on why this is a precarious stance for any business, or individual, in modern society. This article will be looking at how companies can not only meet their diversity and inclusion goals with menopause training but also create an inclusive working environment they can be proud of.

Despite being a natural and universal process, menopause unfortunately remains a taboo subject in many workplaces, and a hidden topic of conversation between colleagues. But the taboo goes deeper than this – and the impact of menopause on men both at home and in the workplace is rarely considered.

Indeed, whilst there are certainly a wide variety of other contributing factors, divorce rates tend to be highest among couples in their 40s and 50s, which coincides with the typical age range for women experiencing menopause. Research conducted by The Family Law Menopause Project and Newson Health stated that 73% of women felt that menopause had put a very significant strain on their relationships and caused a breakdown in their marriage.  But yet these statistics are still not influencing company training and wellbeing agendas – and this needs to change.

In today’s workplace,

women are working well into their 50s and beyond. However, the issue remains that most employers are still not taking into account the unique challenges that come with menopause or putting measures in place to both support and minimise the impact on their female employees – or indeed their male counterparts for that matter.

Gender equality and diversity are essential goals for any company that wants to succeed in today’s business world. One frequently overlooked area where companies can improve their gender equality and diversity policies, is providing menopause training in the workplace. To address the current gender gap when it comes to empowering employees and managers alike, we need to redefine what menopause training in the workplace could and should look like. This training needs to be accessible to both men and women, and should focus on education and support. The goal should be to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace for women going through menopause, but also for the men who can support them in the workplace and at home.

A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that only 25% of employers have a policy on managing menopause at work. This is a worrying statistic given that up to 80% of women experience menopausal symptoms that can affect their work performance, relationships and well-being. Inclusive menopause training is essential in improving productivity and reducing absenteeism.

How Companies Take Menopause Allyship Training Important

By providing menopause allyship training that is inclusive of both men and women, companies can demonstrate that they value the contributions of all their employees. Menopause training can certainly help to improve employee engagement and retention. When companies invest in the health and well-being of all of their employees, they demonstrate that they value them as individuals. This can help to create a more engaged and motivated workforce that is more likely to stay with the company long-term.

So what can companies do?

Many people are not aware of what menopause is and how it can impact women. Many women may feel uncomfortable discussing their symptoms with their colleagues or managers, which can make it difficult for them to get the support they need. By receiving training on menopause, men can contribute to creating a supportive work environment that acknowledges and accommodates the challenges women may face. This can include adjustments to temperature control, flexible work arrangements and access to appropriate resources. Menopause training also encourages open and supportive communication in the workplace. Men can learn how to engage in sensitive and respectful conversations about menopause, creating a more inclusive environment where women feel comfortable discussing their challenges.

The impact of food and nutrition is a great starting point for this conversation that reduces much of the stigma and embarrassment around it. Many women going through menopause experience weight gain and struggle to maintain a healthy diet. Menopause symptoms are also highly connected to brain activity, such as anxiety, brain fog, sleep deprivation, and memory, so having a diet that helps these symptoms is key.  A specialised nutritionist can offer valuable advice on how to eat healthily during menopause, as well as providing tips on how to naturally manage hot flashes and other symptoms. By including nutrition training in workplace wellness programs, employers can offer support to their female employees, provide practical solutions for male colleagues to take home for their partners and open the door to further conversations.

It’s vitally important to involve male colleagues in easily accessible conversations such as these.

Men may not experience menopause themselves, but those who educate themselves about menopause can become invaluable allies to their partners and colleagues offering empathy, patience, and practical support both at work and at home during this significant life transition. It is companies who offer this education that can start to lift the stigma and embarrassment around menopause. Ultimately, investing in menopause training is a win-win situation for both employers and employees. It’s time to start talking openly about menopause in the workplace and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

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Do you want to know more about our programme: Menopause in the Workplace . Enquiry now and bring it to your company.

This article is written by Kumud Gandhi – Food Scientist, nutritionist, foodwriter & broadcaster.  Kumud Gandhi is a pioneer of science-based nutritional coaching to support people achieve productivity and wellness through nutritional management.  She leads the ‘Wellness in the Workplace‘ division at The Cooking Academy

Comments

2 comments on “Putting Men in Menopause: Thinking Inclusively in the Workplace

  1. Not necessarily what I was expecting to see in my inbox or what this company would post, but I’m glad I saw it. Only in my 30s as a woman am I just beginning to learn about what this could look like for me, but it’s good to understand how it does/will affect other people I know, in the workplace

  2. Great job on your blog post! The content was well-organized and easy to follow, and I found the clear structure of your arguments to be persuasive. To gain further insights, click here.

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